Happy Birthday, E. Lockhart, born 13 September 1967
- First person comes easily to me; I like experimenting with new voices. Switching to third person for Disreputable History was just a gut instinct, and I took some time at the beginning trying to find a voice for that omniscient narrator.
- My advice to aspiring writers: read, read, read. Read the great novelists, especially. Try Great Expectations. Pride and Prejudice. Jane Eyre.
- More (contradictory!) advice: follow your reading bliss. Gnaw your way through the local library’s sci-fi or romance collection, if that’s what does it for you.
- I have never kept a journal for more than a couple days. I like to write for an audience, even if it’s only an imaginary one.
- I am inspired by writers of the Spiderman comic books, Monty Python, Evelyn Waugh, John Irving, and Alice Walker, among many, many others. I especially like writers who aggressively use stylised language to create a unique world.
- The feelings in my stories always come from my own experience, but they are transposed into fictional situations. In We Were Liars, Cadence has chronic migraine pain, selective amnesia, a home on a private island, and a fortune coming to her. I have never had any of those things. But I have been desperate and heartbroken and ambitious and angry.
- Read widely. To me it is that simple. Every new book you read puts language and imagery and storytelling techniques into your head that weren’t there before.
Emily Jenkins, who uses the pen name E. Lockhart, is an American writer of children’s picture books, young-adult novels, and adult fiction. She is known for the Ruby Oliver quartet (which begins with The Boyfriend List), The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and We Were Liars. Her latest novel is Genuine Fraud.